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Kripps earns back-to-back four-man wins

Sports briefs: Canadian halfpipers take third; St-Germain fifth at St. Moritz

Bobsleigh pilot Justin Kripps kicked off the four-man BMW IBSF World Cup season by stacking up victories in Lake Placid, N.Y. on the weekend.

Kripps and his crew of Benjamin Coakwell, Cameron Stones and Ryan Sommer kicked things off on Dec. 14 by topping a Latvian sled piloted by Oskars Kiebermanis by 0.39 seconds and an Austrian sled helmed by Austria's Benjamin Maier by 0.47 seconds.

The next day, the foursome bested two German sleds, piloted by Johannes Lochner and Francesco Friedrich, by 0.30 and 0.33 seconds, respectively.

"We are just cruising in the four-man and are having so much fun," Kripps said in a release. "I think there are two reasons for our success. Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton stepped up and invested in a new sled for us this year which is similar to what all of the top teams in the sport have, and the boys are all working so hard on and off the track. We are just having a blast down here."

The women's team was also successful, as Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski took a bronze on Dec. 14. Americans Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs earned the win while Germans Kim Kalicki and Erline Nolte took second.

In skeleton action, Canadian Mirela Rahneva was just 0.04 seconds off the podium as she took fourth place. Russian Elena Nikitina cruised to the win while German Jacqueline Loelling and Austrian Janine Flock rounded out the podium. Fellow Canadians Jane Channell, from North Vancouver, and Madison Charney were 17th and 18th, respectively.

On the men's side, neither Kevin Boyer nor Kyle Murray qualified for a second run, placing 25th and 26th, respectively. Russia's Alexander Tretiakov earned the win over Latvia's Martins Dukurs and Germany's Felix Keisinger.

Complete results are available online at www.ibsf.org.

Bowman, Karker third at Copper

Canadian Noah Bowman went home with some hardware from the FIS World Cup halfpipe event at Copper Mountain, Colo. on Dec. 13.

Bowman's 84.75 score placed him behind only two Americans, with Aaron Blunck winning with an 87.00 and David Wise sitting just behind him at 85.25.

Fellow Canadian Brendan Mackay also posted a solid showing, taking sixth, while the Marineau twins were back to back with Evan earning ninth and Dylan 10th. Meanwhile, Sam McKeown took 18th and Andrew Longino was 20th.

On the women's side, Rachael Karker posted an 81.75 score to take third behind winner Zoe Atkin of Great Britain (87.75) and runner-up Brita Sigourney of the U.S. (85.00). Other Canadians were Rachael Anderson in 14th and Amy Fraser in 20th.

Canadian snowboarders didn't fare quite as well. In the women's event, Elizabeth Hosking was the lone Canuck in 14th. Spain's Queralt Castellet topped China's Jiayu Liu and American Maddie Mastro for the win. As for the men, Braeden Adams was Canada's top representative in 22nd while Kiran Pershad was 24th. At the top of the table, Australia's Scotty James held off Japanese challengers Yuto Totsuka and Ruka Hirano for first.

For complete results, check out www.fis-ski.com.

St-Germain fifth at St. Moritz

Canadian skier Laurence St-Germain excelled in her Audi FIS World Cup parallel slalom debut in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Dec. 15.

St-Germain posted a fifth-place finish in her first-ever World Cup race in the discipline. She entered as the 25th-ranked qualifier, but charged through the field, eventually falling to eventual champion Petra Vlhova of Slovakia in the quarterfinal. St-Germain eventually topped Italy's Federica Brignone in the fifth-place showdown.

Meanwhile, Vlhova beat Sweden's Anna Swenn Larsson for first, while Austria's Franziska Gritsch bested Slovenia's Meta Horvat for third.

In the super-G on Dec. 14, meanwhile, Candace Crawford was the lone Canadian finisher in 35th. Italy's Sofia Goggia nipped countrywoman Brignone by 0.01 seconds for first while American Mikaela Shiffrin was third.

The women shifted to Courchevel, France, for a giant slalom on Dec. 17. Marie-Michele Gagnon was the lone Canadian to make it through to a second run as she finished 30th. Brignone topped the podium, trailed by Norway's Mina Fuerst Holtmann and Switzerland's Wendy Holdener.

In the men's slalom in Val d'Isere, France on Dec. 15, no Canadians cracked the second run. France's Alexis Pinturault ran away with the top prize over Sweden's Andre Myhrer and Italy's Stefano Gross.

Kingsbury claims gold at Thaiwoo

Canada's Mikaël Kingsbury just keeps on winning.

The moguls legend captured the men's dual moguls event in Thaiwoo, China, on Dec. 15, defeating France's Benjamin Cavet in the final. Japan's Ikuma Horishima knocked off Great Britain's Thomas Gerken Schofield in the small final to take third.

Laurent Dumais also impressed, taking fifth, while Kerrian Chulaud was 14th, Gabriel Dufresne 16th, Pemberton's Brenden Kelly 19th, and Elliot Vaillancourt 22nd.

In the women's dual moguls event, Chloe Dufour-Lapointe was the top Canadian in eighth as France's Perrine Laffont topped American Jaelin Kauf for the win and American Hannah Soar bested Japan's Kisara Sumiyoshi in the small final. Justine Dufour-Lapointe took 11th, Valerie Gilbert was 19th and Freestyle Whistler alumnus Maia Schwinghammer was 28th.

In the Dec. 14 moguls event, Kingsbury took second to Horishima in the men's contest, falling just 0.60 points back, while Cavet was third. Dumais and Chunlaud were back to back in seventh and eighth, respectively, while Dufresne took 21st and Kelly 26th.

In the women's contest, Justine Dufour-Lapointe hit the podium in third, finishing 7.08 points back of champion Laffont while Kazakhstan's Yulia Galysheva was second. Chloe Dufour-Lapointe placed eighth while Gilbert ended up 16th.

Sea to Sky Nordics kick off biathlon season

Sea to Sky Nordics members picked up nine medals in the first BC Cup biathlon race of the season at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre on Dec. 14 and 15.

In the sprint on Dec. 14, Max Sterelyukhin scored the club's lone gold medal, topping the masters men's 35-and-over category while Russell Schick took third.

In the junior girls' division, Josie Clifford was second while Sophie Firth took eighth, and in the senior girls' contest, Sofie Hill took second while Sierra Pochay-McBain was fourth and Taylor Fulton was seventh.

As for the junior boys, Lucas Gitt took a third-place result, while Jojo Ng was fourth, Ryan Clark placed fifth and Graham Benson took seventh.

In the senior boys' showdown, Jasper Fleming, Sean Benson and Trevor Schick took fifth through seventh, in order, while Alexander Hatloe took 13th.

Lastly, in the masters' men 50-and-over event, Gary Tate and Toshi Kawano were fifth and eighth, respectively.

In the Dec. 15 pursuit, Fleming climbed to second in the senior boys' event while Schick (fourth), Benson (ninth) and Hatloe (10th) all made the top 10. Also earning silver was Hill in the senior girls' contest, while Fulton was fourth and Pochay-McBain took eighth.

Meanwhile, in the junior boys' challenge, Gitt took a second straight bronze, while Ng, Clark and Benson were right behind in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Russell Schick took the club's other medal, placing third in the masters' men 35-and-over event.

As well, Kawano and Tate took fourth and fifth, respectively, in the masters' men 50-and-over contest, while Firth was 10th among junior girls.

Complete results are available online at zone4.ca.

Canadian snowboard racers sneak into top 30 at Cortina

Canada's alpine snowboard team took a trio of top-30 finishes in FIS World Cup parallel giant slalom action at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy on Dec. 14.

In the women's race, Katrina Gerencser (26th) and Kaylie Buck (29th) both cracked the mark, while Megan Farrell took 36th. Germany's Ramona Theresia Hofmeister bested fellow German Selina Joerg in the big final while Austria's Claudia Riegler got past China's Ruxin Zang in the small final for third.

In the men's contest, Sebastien Beaulieu placed 28th, while Jasey Jay Anderson took 33rd, Arnaud Gaudet was 44th, Michael Nazwaski was 45th, Darren Gardner took 49th and Jules Lefebvre was 51st. Italy's Roland Fischnaller bested Korea's Sangho Lee in the final while Russia's Igor Sluev edged past Austria's Lukas Mathies for third.




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